This week’s featured poem is Different by Clere Parsons. The poem seems to document the process of an individual gaining a sense of affinity with other people. Paradoxically, they seem to do this through not saying, believing or doing any of the same things. For me, the poem poses questions about whether as individuals we have a desire to be ‘different’ – and do we try to be this just for the sake of being so? Is the wish have our own unique opinions and perceptions, in tension with those of others, a strong defining factor in behaviour, or do we ultimately want to be (or at least feel) like we are the same as everyone else? Perhaps, as the poem presents, it is through trying to be our own person that we start to fit and feel a sense of belonging within the great mass that is humanity.
Not to say what everyone else was saying
not to believe what everyone else believed
not to do what everybody did,
then to refute what everyone else was saying
then to disprove what everyone else believed
then to deprecate what everybody did,
was his way to come by understanding
how everyone else was saying the same as he was saying
believing what he believed
and did what doing.